Flyers-Canadiens Game 1: Intermission Blog
Postgame. Canadiens win seconds into overtime on a goal from Kostopoulos.
Flyers did an excellent job considering their high fatigue level. They worked hard the entire game, pushing through and moving their feet. They took few penalties, put lots of shots on Carey Price, and forced turnovers. I’m sure they’re frustrated by this game’s result, but they should walk away this evening proud of themselves. Should they play this way throughout the series, they may just steal four games from Montreal.
On officiating: I will always maintain that teams must put themselves in positions to win despite the referees. The Flyers received penalties whenever they spent too much time chasing Montreal around Martin Biron. They did not lose because of bad calls by the officials.
BUT, as Lou Lamiorello once pointed out, referees need to call what they see, not what they think they see. The penalty on Mike Richards was an instance where the ref decided based on what he thought he saw. It did appear from Kovalev’s reaction that knee-on-knee contact was made, but replays clearly showed from every angle that Richards’ shoulder was the only body part that connected with Kovalev. May I point out that Mike Hasenfratz was one of the refs tonight, and that he also delivered the horrendous Kozlov goaltender interference call in the Flyers-Caps series? Were there really that many officials with worse records in the first round?
Third period. Flyers 3 – Canadiens 3. Goals from Lupul and Kovalev.
- Flyers spent too much time in their own end towards the end of the game. Richards receives an unfortunate penalty for supposed knee-on-knee contact. Replays showed that he clearly hit Kovalev with the shoulder – as Richie was telling the refs after the play – but to no avail.
- Carter is having a bad night. Missed several shots during the game, turned the puck over for no apparent reason on the play that ended in the Kostitsyn goal, and had his stick break off the faceoff with 30 seconds left. The puck squirted to Kovalev in front of the net, and he banged it home.
- Headed to OT, which has to favor the Canadiens since they had more rest coming into the game than the Flyers. Flyers need to play solid defense here and hope for a good turnover to capitalize on.
- Carey Price has struggled to control the puck every time Braydon Coburn has shot the puck. If the Flyers could get someone in front when Coburn shoots, they might have a goal.
Second period. Flyers 2 – Canadiens 2. Goals from A. Kostitsyn and Kovalev
- The score doesn’t reflect how well Martin Biron is playing. He made an amazing glove save on a shot from Mark Streit as well as stoning A. Kostitsyn on a penalty shot.
- Kovalev’s goal is extremely controversial in my book. His stick came down right on top of the cross bar. He hit the puck. I don’t know how the physics would work to move a stick vertically, hit the puck and the cross bar, and still score a goal.
- Flyers need to pick up the pace. They had the Habs fans out and now they’re back in.
First period. Flyers 2 – Canadiens 0. Goals from RJ Umberger and Jim Dowd.
- Good night so far for the Flyers fourth line. Umberger was out with Thoresen for the first goal, and Dowd out with Thoresen and Downie on the second.
- MAR-TY! MAR-TY! MAR-TY! Martin Biron made the most amazing save at the horn to prevent the Canadiens from making it a 2-1 game. Habs fans thought the puck had gone in and that the refs had ruled no goal because of time. But the puck never made it past the goal line.
- The goal posts are the Flyers’ friends. Canadiens hit two posts in the first. Flyers hit one, which resulted in a goal.
- The Flyers looked a little slow to start, perhaps because they’re a little tired. A bit of a track meet. They’re hitting well and playing solid defense – they’ll need to continue that effort without relaxing to win.
- A few scrums already, usually involving either Mike Komisarek or Mike Richards. Richards and Markov had words on multiple occasions.
- Alex Kovalev is one of the slipperiest forwards in the NHL. Braydon Coburn tailed perfectly on a play, moving from the boards to the hash marks to the blueline without losing him for a second. Great work by Coburn!
Flyers to watch:
1. Jeff Carter – The Caps have big bodies on defense, and even they struggled to contain the Flyers’ largest center. Outside of Mike Komisarek, the Habs are much smaller on the blue line, but they hit hard and often. So the question becomes – will Carter or Price prevail?
2. Danny Briere – He’s been great for the Flyers so far. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to playing in Montreal. Fans there are still upset he chose Philadelphia rather than Montreal this past summer, so the boo birds should be out in force. Will he prove he made the right choice or will les Quebecois relish their revenge?
3. Martin Biron – Everyone knows Carey Price will put up some terrific saves. Biron must bring the same determination he showed against Washington if the Flyers want to be successful.
GO FLYERS GO!!!